#981 - "Up Again" by Dan Bremnes
Dan Bremnes tells NRT's Kevin Davis the touching story behind his latest single.

Posted: July 22, 2019 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Dan Bremnes's debut album, Where the Light Is, featured the hits, "Beautiful," and "Where the Light Is." After a three-year break, Dan is back, with Wherever I Go. The album features "How You Love Me," "Thunder," and "Going Together."

"It's been three years since I released a record and I can't believe the time is here," Dan shared in a news release. "This album has been a long, sometimes difficult, but beautiful process and I'm so excited to share it with you."

Dan continued: "Each one of these songs is a piece of my story over the past four years: the ups, the downs, the questions and the journey. I pray that as you listen to these songs, you're reminded that you aren't alone. And, you've been invited into an adventure bigger than you could ever imagine." 

I spoke to Dan at Winter Jam in Reading, Pennsylvania about "Up Again," another song from his new album.

Please tell me the personal story behind the song.

"Up Again" is one of the surprise songs from Wherever I Go. I was in a pretty low spot when I wrote it. The music industry is up and down. The highs are high and the lows are low.

Being an artist, I'm a little more emotionally sensitive than some people. Riding those moments can be like a rollercoaster. The ups and downs of the music industry, traveling, and being away from my family took a toll. 

A few years ago, I was going through a rough season in my music career. And to me, it looked like it was the end. I lost my mom a few years ago in a car accident. I remember sitting in my writing room. Then, I just started writing a letter of what I would tell the two most important people in my life: to my mom and to God. I felt alone and lost in that moment. When you're feeling down, you want to talk to your mom, no matter what age you are. "Up Again" came out of that low point and turned into a celebration, and what she and God would say back to me.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Proverbs 24:16 (NIV): "For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes."

Joshua 1:9 (VOICE): "This is My command: be strong and courageous. Never be afraid or discouraged because I am your God, the Eternal One, and I will remain with you wherever you go."

Psalm 28:7 (NLT): "The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving."
Psalm 16:11 (NKJV): "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

James 2:23-24 (NLT): "And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: "Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith." He was even called the friend of God. So you see we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone."

Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV): "Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT): "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."

Hebrews 11:8 (VOICE): "By faith Abraham heard God's call to travel to a place he would one day receive as an inheritance; and he obeyed, not knowing where God's call would take him."

Philippians 4:11-13 (NKJV): "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

What is the takeaway message?

In the song, there is a callback of what my mom would say to me: "Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win/You can get up again." And so, for me, it was an emotional day writing this song. It was also an encouraging day, because no matter how many times I fell, I knew that I could get up again. If you're alive today with breath in your lungs, there's hope and a different story than the one you currently have.

When I finished writing this letter, I felt like God was saying it was His time to speak. And He was saying something completely different and telling me, "Dan, it's not over. You need to get up and keep fighting." This is God's message to us. We fall down and we feel like it is the end. But, from God's perspective, it's not. In fact, it's the beginning. Let today be the first day of the rest of your life. 

We measure ourselves by our successes or our failures. We're not either of those. We are loved. God loves us and that's where our value really comes from. It doesn't mean that we don't have to try. But we aren't defined by our failures. That's a message I need to hear over and over again. Just because I fall, it doesn't mean I can't get up. It takes courage to get up again. 

We beat ourselves up when we fall down. But that's not the message of the Gospel. You're forgiven. Be bold and get up again.

The other day I was thinking to myself
Made a list of all my mistakes
Oh I wish I could've run to you
And tell you about my heartbreak
And I wondered to myself, wait a minute
Am I even on the right path now
Had a couple wins but I got knocked down
But I know that you are here right now
And You say
Ohhh, sometimes you lose, sometimes you win
Ohhh, you gotta get up, up again
Ohhh, keep holding on, it's not the end
Ohhh, you gotta get up, up again
Get up, up again
You can get up, up again
You can get up, up again
And I guess not every little thing
Works out just the way you dream
You can take a couple wrong turns
Still end up where you're supposed to be
Even though in a moment
I know everything can change
Your perfect plans might fall apart
But the simple truth remains
Ohhh, sometimes you lose, sometimes you win
Ohhh, you gotta get up, up again
Ohhh, keep holding on, it's not the end
Ohhh, you gotta get up, up again
Get up, up again
You can get up, up again
You can get up, up again
Get up, up again
You can get up, up again
You can get up, up again
Cause you only got one life
And you don't know when it ends
You've only got one heart
So get out there and live
Yeah you've only got one life
Don't let it get away
Everyone falls down
But you can get up, up again
Get up, up again
You can get up, up again
You can get up, up again
Get up, up again
And I guess not every little thing
Works out just the way you dream
You can take a couple wrong turns
Still end up where you're supposed to be

Closing Thoughts

I spoke with Dan in-person before Winter Jam about, "Up Again." It has become one of my daily anthems that encourages me when I'm feeling down. The song's message is that, as believers, we're living out a faith journey. And, like Abraham and Sarah, we're living in faith with hopeful expectations. Dan is following God's leading in his life. And he's traveling from place to place, without always knowing where he's going next.

Abraham was called a "friend of God." He chose to not choose when he allowed his nephew, Lot, to choose which way to go. And Lot chose by sight. Abraham chose to walk by faith and not by sight. God credited that to him, as righteousness. Righteousness comes from faith in the unseen, like Abraham displayed in the Bible. 

Being a Christian means that we walk by faith, not by sight. Faith requires people to rely on the unseen. We walk by faith every day. The beauty of walking by faith and not by sight is that we can learn trust God more with our lives.

Regardless of your circumstances, find freedom in Christ. Be happy and filled with joy, like Paul and Silas in prison. As believers, we can show non-believers the upside down Kingdom of God. Live out the song's words with a supernatural inner-joy. This shows observers of Christians walking through valleys that they have the hope and joy of God's love. Living out His plans for them.

Walk by faith and let Him guide you in your daily walk by prayer and His infallible Word, the Bible. "Up Again" tells us to have the faith that Jesus describes in the Bible: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." 

Be encouraged by these words: "Cause you only got one life/And you don't know when it ends/You've only got one heart/So get out there and live/Yeah, you've only got one life/Don't let it get away/Everyone falls down/But, you can get up, up again." Amen to that.

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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